The Seattle Aquarium’s mission—Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment—begins right here at home.


Beautiful, majestic and teeming with a rich diversity of life, our precious Puget Sound is nevertheless in trouble. Our goal is for every visitor to the Aquarium to come away with new knowledge about the life dwelling within the Sound, as well as what can be done to help preserve it. Download top 10 ways to help Puget Sound.

We also make sure we “walk the talk” regarding conservation issues within our facility. And behind the scenes and beyond our walls, we’re hard at work on initiatives that create greater understanding of some of the pressing matters facing Puget Sound and the animals that call it home.

See Seattle Aquarium President and CEO Bob Davidson's TEDxRainier presentation, "Why Aquariums Matter," delivered at McCaw Hall on November 22, 2014.

Sea star wasting disease

Partnering in the effort to understand “melting” sea stars

In late 2013, sunflower sea stars in British Columbia, Washington and California—and even along the Seattle waterfront—began dying from a condition that gives the impression of “melting.” The Seattle Aquarium joined the effort to understand the condition and its cause. LEARN MORE>


Ratfish rearing

The Seattle Aquarium hatched a captive-bred ratfish in 2013, resulting in a longevity record for the captive propagation of this species. Spotted ratfish, Hydrolagus colliei, are cartilaginous fishes (meaning their skeletons are composed of cartilage) related to sharks, rays, and skates. Little is known about the early years of this species because, in the wild, they hatch 200–300 feet below the surface. LEARN MORE>

Giant Pacific octopus

Partnering to protect giant Pacific octopuses in Puget Sound

The harvest of a giant Pacific octopus (GPO) at a popular dive spot in West Seattle sparked much discussion across the Puget Sound region and in the dive community worldwide in late 2012 and early 2013. Many were surprised that recreational harvesting of GPOs was legal; in fact, regulations stated that anyone with a valid fishing license could take one per day from most areas of the Sound. LEARN MORE>


Coral propagation

Behind the scenes at the Seattle Aquarium are tanks filled with a vibrant collection of small corals, ranging in size from less than an inch to six inches or more. The specimens are nurtured here until they’re large enough to go on exhibit—or to be shared with another facility. LEARN MORE>